Eurasian Crane

Eurasian Crane

SPECIES: Grus grus

HEIGHT: ~ 115 cm, 4 ft

WEIGHT: ~ 5.5 kg, 12 lbs

WINGSPAN: ~ 210 cm, 7 ft

POPULATION: >700,000

TREND: Western population increasing; Eastern population mixed; Transcaucasian and Tibetan populations decreasing

STATUS: IUCN: LC; Cites Appendix II; CMS II


Adults – slate grey body, red crown, forehead and throat are black, white stripe stretches from behind the eyes to the upper back, black legs; juveniles – pale grey body, cinnamon-brown head.


The breeding range of the Eurasian Crane extends from northern and western Europe across Eurasia to northern Mongolia, northern China and eastern Siberia. The winter range includes portions of France and the Iberian Peninsula, regions along the Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean seas, north and east Africa, the Middle East, India and southern and eastern China.

Eurasian Crane range map


Insects, waste and sown grain, acorns, amphibians, reptiles and small mammals.


Listen to Eurasian Crane calls:

Contact Call | A soft, purring call expressing reassurance and location.

Guard Call | A sharp, single call expressing alarm.

Unison Call | A duet performed by a pair, to strengthen their bond and protect their territory.


Habitat loss, changes in agriculture practices and hunting in certain areas.


Monitoring the status of cranes and their habitats from South Asia to Australia and implementing conservation strategies to address emerging threats. We are:

  • Monitoring wintering populations of Eurasian Cranes in South Asia and, with partners, identifying threat mitigation strategies to secure the future of these species.
  • Helping develop a joint collaboration between Ethiopia, Germany and Israel to resolve conflicts between Eurasian Cranes and farmers. Eurasian Cranes are a threat to freshly planted crops during certain times of the year, and we are investigating proactive solutions to mitigate serious problems before drastic steps such as poisoning or shooting cranes are taken.

Learn more about Eurasian Cranes:

Mirande CM, Harris JT, editors. 2019. Crane Conservation Strategy. Baraboo, Wisconsin, USA: International Crane Foundation.